Step Team Alliance empowers youth, creates connections

The Black Lens staff

The Black Lens staff

The Step Team Alliance is a project-based community program encouraging Black cultural expansion and storytelling through movement. Started by Executive Director Stephaine Courtney and Coach and Lead Nicole McDanials, the Step Team Alliance works to empower and support youth to create connections and gain pride for who they are.

Their slogan, “Moving into leadership begins with healing your inner child,” reflects an acknowledgment of the whole person and focuses on building self worth and trust by working through our pasts so we can focus on our futures.

Culture shaped by community is what Courtney and McDanials are creating with programs like The Step Team Alliance that bring together tradition and culture to create space for personal growth and health.

The program has 52 members as of last year and has established teams at Rogers High School (2000), North Central High School (2022), Shadle High School (2022), Cheney High School (2023) and now has a Community Step Team that brings together steppers from all area high schools.

Some Step Team members were part of The Black Lens relaunch party at the Steam Plant, including Paige Casey, Lily Word, Ashlyn Rinde and Willow McCullum. “Extra, extra, read all about it,” was part of their chant in celebration of the paper’s relaunch.